Psychosocial Status and Cognitive Achievement in Peru

25 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ingo Outes

Ingo Outes

University of Oxford

Alan Sánchez

Grupo de Analisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)

Oswaldo Molina

Universidad del Pacifico

Date Written: November 2018


This paper assesses the importance of psychosocial status in the accumulation of cognitive skills during the transition from mid to late childhood. We use longitudinal data from a cohort of 700 Peruvian children drawn from a very rich dataset, the Young Lives Survey, to test the impact of children's perception of respect at the age of 8 on cognitive achievement 4 years later, controlling for cognitive skills at the age of 8, lagged child and household characteristics, and community fixed effects. This empirical specification is akin to estimating a conditional demand function for cognitive skills, which deals with some of the main pitfalls of skill endogeneity. We find that poorly respected children are linked to a lower rate of cognitive accumulation than their better‐respected counterparts. As expected, we also find that previously accumulated cognitive skills enable higher subsequent cognitive skill accumulation. We go one step further by testing and finding evidence of complementarities across skills. We show that cognitive differences amplify over time between children with low and high psychosocial skills. Overall, our results suggest that psychosocial status, an aspect little studied in the context of developing countries, plays an important role in the acquisition of cognitive skills during childhood.

Suggested Citation

Outes, Ingo and Sánchez, Alan and Molina, Oswaldo, Psychosocial Status and Cognitive Achievement in Peru (November 2018). Review of Development Economics, Vol. 22, Issue 4, pp. 1536-1560, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Ingo Outes (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Alan Sánchez

Grupo de Analisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE) ( email )

Av, Graú 915
Barranco, Lima

Oswaldo Molina

Universidad del Pacifico ( email )

Av. Salaverry 2020
Región Metropolitana
Lima 18, Santiago Lima 11

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics